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02.08.13

York: Leicester Can't Be Trusted With Richard's Bones, They Already 'Misplaced' Him Once

Northern British cities feud for right to re-inter Richard
A plastic facial model made from the recently discovered skull of England's King Richard III, is pictured during a press conference in London, on February 5, 2013. The face of England's King Richard III was revealed for the first time in more than 500 years on Tuesday following a reconstruction of his skeleton found underneath a carpark. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS        (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04:  A television screen displays the skull what is believed to be King Richard III during a press conference at Leicester University on February 4, 2013 in Leicester, England. The University of Leicester has been carrying out scientific investigations on remains found in a car park to find out whether they are those of King Richard III since last September, when the skeleton was discovered in the foundations of Greyfriars Church, Leicester.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty; Justin Tallis, AFP/Getty

King Richard III must be wondering why he couldn't have been as popular in life as he is in death.

Two British cities are now feuding over the right to bury the hunchbacked king's bones, with the leader of a Yorkshire council claiming that the city of Leicester has had its chance and "misplaced" the monarch for 500 years and ought not to be trusted to look after him again.

Scarborough Borough Council's Conservative leader Tom Fox told the BBC: "It's only fitting Yorkshire is his final resting place. To be perfectly blunt, the people of Leicester misplaced him for more than 500 years. Would we really wish to entrust his remains to them again? I think not."

It seems a bit rough to assume the negligent burghers of Leicester would make the mistake of losing him again, but the accusation is part of a Machiavellian bid (of which the scheming Richard would surely approve) to get the skeleton of the last Plantaganet (a word we can all now spell) buried at York Minster Cathedral.

But Leicester mayor Peter Soulsby said "the decision has already been made" to bury the king at the city's Cathedral.

Richard III's remains were found underneath a car park in the city, following an archaeological dig by the University of Leicester.